A friend of mine who’s been receiving some coaching from me has graciously agreed to let me use one of our talks as a case study on my blog. We both felt that the issue we discussed would be relevant to a lot of people and that the insights we achieved could be helpful to anyone struggling with the question of whether or not the activity they’ve chosen to dedicate their life to (or the one they want to dedicate their life to) is “spiritual enough”. I apologize in advance for the length, but I think you’ll find it worth the time it takes to read. The case study demonstrates several key concepts most of us encounter in one way or another on our journey.

Some Background: Dan’s passion is Thai boxing and Mixed Martial Arts and although he’s been training and studying for years, he made the decision about a year ago to dedicate himself to it full time. He’s even planning on moving to Thailand for a while to study there and eventually wants to open his own training center, possibly helping inner city kids. When he’s in a fight, everything else ceases to exist. He becomes super focused, has access to incredible strength and agility and feels amazing. There’s no fear, just – and this is the controversial part for many – joy. He feels true joy when he’s in the ring. He’s also only lost once in his entire career. It’s obvious that when Dan is fighting, he’s streaming a ton of energy; he’s fully connected and in the Zone.

The Problem: Dan is also a deeply spiritual person. He’s been working on raising his vibration and improving his connection to source for years now. Where he used to feel anger and rage, he now feels love and compassion. His entire outlook on life has changed. He and the people around him, his spiritual teachers, Buddhist monks he deals with, friends and family couldn’t reconcile something as seemingly aggressive as fighting with his spiritual side. Can you love the world by punching someone in the face? In order to reconcile this conflict, we had to answer a few though questions.

Question #1: Dan was asked by one of his friends: “How are you benefiting the world by hurting others and yourself?”

Answer: First of all, the basis for this question rests on several faulty principles. The first is the idea that we have a responsibility to do something (take some kind of action) to help the world. It is not our actions that help the world. Since everything is energy and we are all connected, the best possible way to help the whole is to raise our own vibration. If we are moving into our own joy, if we are streaming energy, we are helping the world. There is no better way. And if, from that connected point of view, we are inspired to take action, that action will also truly benefit the recipients. Action taken from a point of fear or desperation helps no one, including the person taking the action.

Second, there’s an old belief buried in there that our bodies don’t belong to us. They belong to God, some force outside of ourselves, a sometimes benevolent but often malevolent creator who owns us. Therefore, anything we do to our bodies that could be seen as destructive is disrespectful and dishonorable to this deity. But God is not outside of us. We are the creators. We are God, all of us, individually and collectively. Our bodies are not on loan from some outside source, they were created by us in order to allow us to experience the physical world to its fullest. And any activity, physical or otherwise, that brings us joy, is in line with that purpose. In fact, I would think it’s more dishonorable to sit on the couch all day and not to use and enjoy your amazing bodies. πŸ˜‰

And third, there’s the idea that we can actually hurt someone else. No one can actually force anything upon you that you don’t allow. It’s always a co-creation. This is the hardest one for people to wrap their heads around, and I’m not going to go into it too deeply here on a philosophical level (I’ll leave that to another day), so let’s just view this point through the lens of this one example. Dan is not running around the streets looking for someone to punch. He and his opponent are both in the ring voluntarily. No one has coerced them and they’ve all undergone years of voluntary, strenuous training to be there. There are rules. A 90 pound weakling is not pitted against a 300 pound monster. There are classes of weight and levels of skill, as well as technical rules designed to keep the fighters safe.

Now, I don’t know about the other guys, but Dan’s intention when he gets in that ring is not to hurt the other fighter. He accepts that it might happen, but he doesn’t actually wish the other fighter any harm. He’s concentrating on his own body, on how he’s feeling, and on his own moves. He’s fully present in the moment. Let’s face it. You could get hurt or end up hurting someone else through just about any activity. Hell, you can open the door quickly and smack some unwitting person who was standing too close in the face. We cannot cocoon ourselves enough to avoid all risk of injury. That’s not the solution anyway. It is our intent, our energy and our focus that cause the reality around us to shift. And every person we meet up with is a match, at that moment, to the energy we’re projecting.

So, if Dan was getting in the ring full of rage and wanting to hurt someone, he would meet up with opponents that were a match to that state of mind – someone who had a subconscious need to be punished, for example. Dan’s desire to have a good, enjoyable fight, will match him up with that kind of opponent.

Question #2: A Buddhist monk told Dan that “Fighting is not spiritual. It’s aggressive. The two don’t go together.”

Answer: With apologies to the monk, I have to disagree here. To me, everything is spiritual. We are spiritual beings inhabiting the physical. From a big picture perspective, everything we do is spiritual. Anything we can do to connect, to flow the energy, to get in the Zone, will bring us closer to who we really are – the very definition of spirituality. We all have the ability to do it. When Michael Jordan flew through the air, he was connected. He was flowing tons of energy. When Da Vinci created the Mona Lisa (or any one of his thousands of visionary inventions) he was in the Zone. I flow energy every time I write an article or blog post, or coach someone. I translate the energy into words. A singer who inspires others is translating that energy into music. You might let the energy flow through you into a painting, a film, dance, a piece of jewelry, incredible clothing designs, cuisine that’s so good it stops conversation or any number of other activities. The waitress at the coffee shop who loves her job and brings joy to every customer is fully connected. Her job is spiritual for her. The farmer who grows food with joy and serenity, who is fully connected to the earth and Mother Nature, has a spiritual job. Any activity can be deeply spiritual providing you’re connected and it brings you joy.

Think about it. Let’s pick a seemingly mundane job like being a cashier at the supermarket. You go shopping and the lady at the cash register is just full of genuine good cheer, and fully connected. She’s leveraging energy, so she’s checking people out quickly and efficiently. But her high vibration is contagious. You go up to pay for your groceries and find yourself smiling and chatting with her. In fact, you found yourself listening and laughing along with the people who were in front of you, instead of being annoyed at having to wait. Those few minutes in the checkout lane have put you in a better mood. This woman is helping everyone around her simply by being happy. She’s connected, she’s flowing tons of energy, she feels fantastic and she’s benefiting herself and anyone that comes in contact with her. How can anyone judge this activity or any other that makes people feel this way, as not Spiritual?

Question #3: Dan asked “I’ve lost my anger and rage, which used to fuel my fighting. I always thought that it made me a better fighter. Now that those emotions are gone, will my performance decline?”

Answer: In a word: No. Anger and rage are emotions that stem from a feeling of powerlessness. When you feel powerless and you begin to raise your vibration (which you will naturally do unless someone tries to stop you) you move into anger and rage. Due to Dan’s upbringing, a feeling of powerlessness was pretty prevalent and so the activity of fighting, which he enjoyed and which therefore raised his vibration, pushed him to the next rung on the emotional scale: anger and rage. Fighting caused him to stream more energy, which felt good. He was more connected. And whenever we are fully connected, whenever we’re in the Zone, the activities we perform become easier and have a greater impact. Dan had access to greater speed, strength and agility because of his connection, not because of the anger and rage. It was the flow of energy that fueled his fighting, not his emotions. So, as long as he continues to stay plugged in, as long as he feels joy when in the ring, his performance can only get better.

Conclusion: Although Dan has no obligation to “help the world” with his fighting, it is very possible that this expression of source energy could affect a great many people in the future. For example, let’s say that Dan opens a training center and begins to train inner city youth. These are often individuals who feel incredibly powerless. To feel better, they must be guided (by their inner being, perhaps with the help of a teacher) up the emotional scale. The next stop will be anger and rage, as already discussed. But because these emotions are uncomfortable to most of us, they are strongly discouraged in our society. After all, we don’t want a bunch of angry, inner city youth running around, now do we? But these kids have to go through those emotions in order to move higher.

Now, I don’t imagine that a lot of these individuals will be open to techniques such as meditation and Yoga. But they would quite possibly be open to learning how to fight. And with the right teacher, someone who knows how to achieve a full connection and can demonstrate it, something that started out as a way to learn self defense and release frustrations, could easily lead to realizations about what it feels like to let go of anger and deliberately move into better feelings. Using his connection, Dan could end up changing the lives of hundreds of individuals that the rest of society would love to give up on. Thousands, if you count the knock on effect created by his students going out to teach others.

The point of this entire case study is to show that any activity which brings you joy, which causes you to feel your connection is a good one, a worthy one, a spiritual one. If you find yourself drawn to something that seems shallow or superficial or even has some aggressive undertones like a sporting activity, and you’ve been worrying that you can’t reconcile this activity with your spiritual side, I say go for it. Find your joy. Find your happiness. And you’ll do more to save the world than if you forced yourself into half-heartedly performing a more “worthy” activity. Exponentially more.

Did you find this case study helpful? I’d love it if you took the time to let me know what you think in the comments.


Other Posts You Might Like...

Access our LOA Vault!

Get instant access to all our FREE resources, including courses, workbooks and a bonus chapter for my book!

  • This was fantastic. I love it! πŸ™‚ We just have to be happy! πŸ™‚

    Deep down I’ve always wanted to do something awesome and the opposite of who I am right now (wimpy, depressed person) I tell people conventional dreams I can believe in such as something they can accept like being an artist or writer. I do love those things but even more than that would be to be a racecar driver or kickboxing champion! But those seem too unbelievable to me.
    1000 reasons it’s not possible come up. I can’t drive, I’m chronically ill and have very little energy, I’m clumsy and a slow learner. I get embarrassed easily when instructed in a group. etc etc. I can’t afford the lessons for either.
    But still I see myself with my head held high, lean, agile body and just smile. But it doesn’t feel real so I let it go before I get too sad and realise I’m a housewife at best.
    I also feel angry about my gender. Women being seen as less capable of doing certain things. I’d love to break the status quo but being ill just confirms the assumptions and makes me more frustrated.

    This article is great because with the things I can believe in like art, I had a pressure that everything had to have a meaning & purpose. Now I can relax at least on that topic that it can be stupid and colourful or anything- as long as I like it.

    • That’s really the crux of it, Alice. Go with what you truly love to do. Most people don’t, because they don’t think they can have it. Start small – with hobbies and activities. Feel how good it feels to do what you love. And, let the fear that comes up with it come up in small ways so that you don’t get overwhelmed, In time and with practice, the big dreams will seem a lot more doable. Growth always happens incrementally. πŸ™‚

      Huge hugs!

  • Hi Melody,

    another great post on your very inspiring blog. Thanks much for sharing.

    Here is what I can not get my head around about:

    All the examples and comments here are within a very civilized field. Even S&M is by some standards civilized, at least in some ways. Plus they dont necessarily aim to be shared, they are just left in to be in privacy But what about activieties like for example being a producer of gory horror films that clearly aim to reach as many people as possible?

    Or what about a pro killer whos only goal is to end other peoples life?

    Maybe im looking for a too big a picture here, maybe I just dont get something essential?

    I work in media and these questions really bother me, so I really would appreciate any insights from your point of view.

    Thanks much!
    (pardon typos if there still are any, this is from the road on my smart phone)

    I work in media – so much stuff out there

  • As a former Jesuit and Buddhist/Vedantist practitioner for 14 years and a married householder for 16 years, I have read scores of books in the Great Tradition of spiritual literature. Dyer’s "Manifest Your Destiny" is one of the best books I have ever read. It is not a "method" for manifesting what you want, but a needed call to change your thoughts and beliefs so that you might know that you (along with all of creation) are one with the universal Spirit or God-force. It is this knowing, I believe, that forms the foundation for genuine manifestation that goes beyond using the mind which has only the past to draw upon. Read this book slowly as a meditation and it will very likely draw you in, as it did me, to the sacred place from which it was written. Read it in a mood of quiet and reverence and you will be well on your way to manifesting what you want most in life.

    • Hi Dave,

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I love Wayne Dyers’ work. And I’m sure that the mere reading of his books had the ability to raise our vibration. Uusally all it takes is a shift in perspective and Wayne is brilliant at causing that.


    • Hi Sascha,

      I really appreciate your excellent question. What we have to remember is that whatever shows up in your experience, no matter what it is, is only there because you’re a vibrational match to it. No exceptions. And it’s the same for everyone else. So, if you’re making a horror movie, then you’re a vibrational match to that subject matter. And the people that are watching it, are also a vibrational match. The ones that aren’t either won’t be interested or won’t even be aware of the movie at all.

      Now, one person may view a horror movie and think it disgusting and horrible. Their vibration would be negatively impacted by it, depending on where they are. I’m going to greatly simplify this for the sake of explanation, so bear with me: Let’s say that a horror movie is a 3 out of 10 on the vibrational scale. A person who is vibrating at a 9 or 10 wouldn’t even be aware of the movie. A person who is generally at a 6 might be aware of the movie, but if they watch it, they’ll be negatively impacted by it. But a person who’s at a 1 (feeling totally powerless), would be positively impacted. They can’t watch happy, cheery movies. They won’t be aware of them, or if they somehow get access and are forced to watch one, they’d be completely annoyed. But a 3 would pull them up from powerlessness to anger, for example, which is higher on the emotional scale. So they would actually benefit from watching this horror movie. It would bring them relief from their own pain.

      Regarding the contract killer, this is a bit harder to explain. Not because the concept is harder, but because most people have such a hard time accepting this concept: Every death is a suicide, when viewed from a vibrational point of view. I will do a post on this in the future, so I can elaborate on it further, but basically: everything that happens to you is there as a response to your vibrational offering, INCLUDING death. The thing that trips most people up is that death is not this horrible ending, it’s just a transition back into pure, positive energy. It’s the ultimate way to release resistance. When someone who’s in a lot of pain (emotionally) dies, often it was the result of their incredible desire to feel better. And the path of least resistance, the easiest way for the Universe to fulfill that desire was to cause that individual’s transition.

      When someone who has little resistance dies, it’s generally because they’re just ready to move on to the next adventure. The contract killer is offering a vibration and the victim has to be a vibrational match to dying. Now, no one who is happy and connected becomes a contract killer. But then the majority of our population isn’t really all that connected yet (getting better every day, though). These are activities that arise from chronic lower vibrations.
      I realize that there’s much, much more to say, and again, I’ll elaborate in future blog posts, but I really hope this answer has given you some clarity. If not, don’t hesitate to contact me.


  • Wow Melody, I really enjoyed this post. I came here after I saw your comment on my blog.

    This is strangely coincidental for me. I’ve recently made the decision to get rid of a lot of extraneous clutter in my life and simply focus on well, being simple. Being, rather than Doing, that sort of thing. And the fact that I’ve found this blog, with this post, after that decision is awesome. Go Universe! πŸ™‚

    I love your point about anything you’re doing being a spiritual activity, even cashiering or farming. Awesome!

    • Thanks Fred! And thanks for stopping by. I’m so glad I found your blog, as well (I promise to add CommentLuv soon!)
      There are many of us out there… and I’m loving how so many people are seeing the value of setting true priorities – choosing to be happy rather than not go against the grain.

      Huge hugs,

  • Also i got some clarification on my long time confusion.I am a medical representative, i believe that my thoughts come into reality, here the problem for me is, if i expect more sales every month, i am indirectly creating more patients and making them suffer from disease. So i think this not a good job and i could not perform well, even after switching 3 top ranked companies my feeling and performance had shown no improvement. So i started looking for job which keeps me happy, now i am in different field, share market, again here my thought goes like this,everything is on prediction and graphs there is no ultimate productivity. All this thing doesn’t allow me to perform my basic duties and at the end of the i feel very bad.
    This is my real state.

    Thank You


    P.Murali Kannan

    • Hi Murali,

      Thanks for commenting! It allows others to benefit from your question. πŸ™‚

      First, you did not create more patients with your job. The patients already existed. You simply lined up with them and/or the doctors that treated them. You have two choices: You can figure out what you really want and change jobs again, or you can line up with the job you now have. It’s quite possible, though, that the beliefs you hold about work will carry over from career to career, and will keep you from being fulfilled by any job.

      I’d say, figure out how to shift your perspective on your current job and go from there. I don’t know enough about your current career to offer suggestions. If you give me some more details, I’ll be happy to offer suggestions.



  • It is easy to understand and interesting to read such a real story.Thank You very much.Post more of this kind.

    P.Murali kannan

  • Hi Cookie,
    What an excellent insight. I couldn’t pack everything into the blog post, but Dan is one of the most positive and connected people I know. His main problem here was not that he felt any intuitive hesitation towards fighting, he cared way too much about what people around him were thinking about the subject. He couldn’t reconcile their opinion of how he was supposed to feel with how he actually felt. He loves his training and the matches. There are many tools and techniques we can use to help shift our energy. For example, if you’re releasing some anger, it could help you to hit a punching bag. It won’t necessarily solve your problem, but it can help to greatly reduce the intensity of the emotion so that you then have a chance to think more clearly. It’s almost impossible to shift your vibration when you’re really upset. Dan didn’t start fighting because of his rage. But it helped him to raise his vibration and therefore move beyond the rage.

    Fighting is a great example of an alternative tool because it doesn’t appeal to everyone. Some people can’t conceive of getting in the ring with someone (I’m one of them). But that doesn’t mean we should judge the entire activity as “bad” rather than just choosing not to engage in it ourselves.

    If the intent behind the punch is a “positive” one, then the energy behind it is coming from a positive place. Remember that both parties are there voluntarily. Just like you can run down a hill, filled with joy, or you can run for your life, filled with terror. Running isn’t the issue – it’s the energy behind it.

    Thank you so much for giving me the chance to clarify.



    • I see what you mean, but I’m not a big fan of the comparison. The act of running in itself is neutral. Punching or kicking someone doesn’t seem neutral to me and requires a certain kind of energy.
      To clarify, unlike your friend’s friends, I am not saying that it’s morally wrong (like you said, both parties agree to participate). I’m just wondering how much sense it makes for him to keep partaking in something that, from his own words, was fueled by his anger and rage. Isn’t it time to do something more in synch with his “current state”? And it seems that your friend himself is wondering the same thing, since he asked the question.
      But again, I don’t know him and I’ll refrain from judging or giving advice. At least, he’s not doing something unethical and doesn’t intentionally hurt people who didn’t agree to participate.
      By the way, in order to understand you better, can you give me an example of “positive intent” behind a punch?

        • Hi Lou,

          I’m loving this discussion! πŸ™‚ The first thing I asked Dan when he mentioned his doubts was: “How you do feel when you’re in the ring.” His answer was everything I described in the post – he feels more connected in the ring than anywhere else. It was clear to me that the issue was not how he felt about the fighting, but some other belief that was coming out: in this case, that he cared too much about what other people thought. He was valuing their word over his own intuition, which was telling him to keep on going with the Thai boxing.

          The idea that his fighting was fueled by anger and rage was a misunderstanding on his part. Because he went through these emotions on his journey, he associated the release of these feelings with the fighting. But our connection is never fueled by emotion. Our emotions are simply indicators of the relationship between our thoughts and how our inner being thinks about the same subject. Fighting was the tool that helped him deal with his thoughts and beliefs on a myriad of other subjects. He fights to find his connection, others paint, or sing, or play basketball, etc. Any activity can help us find our connection. The main thing is how we feel while doing it.

          This is what I meant my positive intent – if the activity takes you to a fully connected place, where there is no judgment, no resistance (limiting beliefs), no negative emotion, then the energy behind the punch or any other activity will serve not only that person but everyone around them. Keep in mind that I’m not saying that everyone who boxes or engages in martial arts is connected or feels this way. All I’m saying is that if you feel this way while performing an activity, any activity, including something like martial arts, it’s beneficial. There are those who are uplifted by watching a boxing match (again, I’m not one of them, but that’s why I don’t go to boxing matches), some are uplifted by watching football, or going to the opera. I chose a controversial activity to write about, because if I’d said that you can be uplifted by watching butterflies, well, everyone kind of gets that. But not everyone is uplifted by boxing. And that’s the point – use whatever tools that work for you to find joy and allow others to use theirs. Just because something doesn’t appeal to me, doesn’t mean that someone else can’t find great joy in it. Dan has faced a lot of questions about his passion, many of them judgmental. But the only question that really matters (IMHO) is: “How do you feel while doing it?”

          I’m so grateful to you (and everyone else who commented) for engaging in this discussion. I’m sure that a lot of readers had similar questions and your willingness to comment has allowed them to hopefully gain some clarity.

          Huge hugs,


          • Yep, if he truly is connected, I guess that’s the right thing for him.
            I’m always torn on subjects like that. This example reminds me of people who are into S&M. On the one hand, I don’t see a problem with two consenting adults physically hurting each other, if that turns them on. On the other hand, I wonder if they shouldn’t look into why they get turned on by being hurt and/or hurting in the first place. Doesn’t that reflect deep-rooted beliefs they have about themselves? I don’t think tastes come out of the blue. We like what we like for many reasons, including psychological ones, and sometimes it’s a good idea to address them in order to really feel better. Reading your post, I asked myself, if he’s really “one of the most positive and connected people” you know, why is he that bothered by what other people think? Usually, when we’re bothered by something someone says, it’s because it touches on something sensitive inside of us, it has nothing to do with the fact that the person said it. That’s why intuitively, I thought he should take a long hard look at why it bothered him so much that people said that.
            But I can’t stress enough that I don’t know your friend, so I’m just reacting to what I read in our discussion.

          • Well, I guess my question to someone who’s into S&M would be the same: “How do you feel while performing this activity?” (emotionally, of course, he, he.) Some people may very well find their connection this way, but my guess would be that a larger number are working out some beliefs of inadequacy or unworthiness. I totally agree with you – everything we do, we do for a reason: to feel better. And many of those behaviors can be destructive (alcoholism, for example). In that kind of case, though, the person feels a bit better after having some booze, but also feels guilt, self-loathing and a host of other horrible feelings. It always comes back to the feeling place -all of it, including all the layers.

            Human beings are quite complex. The insights Dan had came after several hours of digging, so there’s a lot there that I don’t have the space to go into here. But I think the post and the subsequent discussion did highlight some really interesting things that I’m sure caused many of the readers to view the situation from different angles. It’s not really my intention to get everyone to agree with me – I just want people to understand that they have a choice in how they view things and in how they feel. And if even one person realized this today, I’m happy. πŸ™‚

            Huge hugs,


  • You could be right, but your friend himself says that his involvement with this type of activity in the first place had its roots in anger and rage.
    And clearly something inside of him is telling him that something’s not right, to the point where he’s seeking counseling about this. So he shouldn’t ignore that intuition either, in my opinion.
    But I don’t know him, who knows, you could be right. I have to admit that I’m very doubtful on this one though. “Fighting”, by definition, is aggressive and requires a type of energy that comes from “not-so-positive” places. No matter how much you make how he feels when he’s doing it sound good. πŸ™‚ Doing it doesn’t seem to make much sense, if he’s indeed higher on the “emotional scale” (higher than the anger/aggressive stop). I agree with the last few paragraphs though. IF he does end up opening that school, maybe it will help the kids, but there are other ways to help kids. Cheers!

  • Wow…you never cease to amaze me! I truly enjoy reading your blogs. And don’t ever apologize for the length…I could read your work for hours. Although, you mention ideas, thoughts, beliefs that I’ve known or studied before; you bring such a freshness that awakens me at every read. You are inspiring me to search for my happiness and confirming that my happiness and my career are one in the same!

    Thank you

  • Melody

    This was good. I got a lot of insights while reading this. I love the idea that we can each change the world in our own way. There are no activities that are more worthy than others. Thanks for this.


  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    access teh free video course now:

    are you a spiritual gladiator?

    Find out why you've always been different, why life seems to painful to you, and why you're actually incredibly important.